LCD shortage starts to bite

IT buyers hoping for a price cut for sexy, slimline, flat-screen LCD monitors look set to wait another 18 months as supplies of 15in LCD monitors run short and OEM vendors scramble to pick up over-priced crumbs from LCD panel manufacturers' factories, according to the worldwide president of hardware manufacturer Acer, JT Wang.

The great LCD shortage of 2003/4 comes as the result of a combination of factors that have seen demand outstrip supply, not least because of component makers failed to predict a sustained upswing in demand – and have also switched to making more lucrative LCD TVs.

Wang said that LCD component manufacturers, particularly panel makers, had not met output expectations for the fourth quarter of 2003, with the lack of supply and growing demand set to compound shortages throughout 2004.

"Fifth-generation [mass production facilities] did not perform as well as expected. The output was not as good as expected; that is the number-one reason.

"The second reason is that all the LCD panel manufacturers rushed into TV panels, because the gross margin is higher than for monitors and notebooks. It's like a kind of fever, people just all went in the same direction," Wang said.

Wang however, is betting that the craze will not last out the year as non-standard TV transmission formats, coupled with a lack of high-definition digital spectrum conspire to disappoint end users.

"LCD is fantastic for DVD, but TV is very different from DVD. I think people will be disappointed [until] high definition TV [becomes widespread]. They are thinking that LCD will take off, but we don't think so. The content and transmission still have quality issues. We will have to wait six months for TV fever to cool down," Wang said, adding manufacturers in Korea and Taiwan had been slowly returning to producing monitors over the last three months.

IDC PC analyst Michael Sager confirmed the shortage, but said that increased demand for LCD displays of all kinds was driving the shortfall, particularly for 15in displays that held little profit margin compared to their wide-screen siblings.

"It's not so much an LCD shortage as a panel shortage. It takes a good year for a [panel] factory to come online. The market did not anticipate the level of demand and is now paying the price. Vendors with deep supply chains [are now seeing shortages]," Sager said.

Sager said that larger Australian IT shops had been amongst the first in the region to refresh their fleets, noting that upgrading SOEs or platforms did not necessitate a new monitor in itself.

"Some people are choosing to get new boxes but keep their cathode ray tube (CRT) monitors. There have been some distortions. The price of alternative flat screen CRT monitors [has increased marginally]," Sager said.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Julian Bajkowski

Computerworld
Show Comments

Brand Post

PC World Evaluation Team Review - MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?